Violin teacher plays it forward

  • Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012 6:53 a.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, December 13, 2012 6:54 a.m.
Marguerite Keller
Marguerite Keller

Much has been written about the benefits of music education for children. But what about the teachers? The Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society asked its After-School Strings teachers why they play it forward.

Marguerite Keller used to live in the area and played violin with the Greensboro and Winston-Salem symphony orchestras as Marguerite “Margie” Young. After she built an impressive studio here, she moved to Colorado and opened the Castle Rock Violin Academy.

“When I was visiting my son in Castle Rock, we attended a movie there, and in the lobby there was a group of young musicians playing violins, violas and cellos,” said Linda Jones, executive director of the Salisbury Symphony. “I thought at the time that was a great idea and made a mental note to suggest we do that here at Tinsel Town. Little did I know that this was Marguerite’s work and that she would be moving here.”

When asked why she “plays it forward,” Marguerite answered this way:

“Why are top musicians referred to as artists? I believe it has to do with the fact that they are people who are able to tap into the deeper meanings of life and then to express those meanings in a manner that both entertains and causes further thought.

“Just as a graphic artist uses a visual medium to accomplish this, so a musician uses the palette of sounds to ‘play it forward.’

“As a teacher to artists-in-the-making, I seek to accomplish two primary objectives.

“First, I seek to build a solid technique for my students through my medium, which is the violin.

“The violin has an extraordinarily large palette available and is a difficult instrument to master, but so rewarding for those who do.

“Secondly, I expose my students to a wide range of styles. Some find their voice in classical music, others in fiddling, and still others in jazz or rock and roll. Whatever style attracts them, the foundation is primarily the same.

“Once one has mastered the fundamentals, they can build on that foundation in whatever direction they choose.

“Here, in Salisbury, I direct the Salisbury Super Strings, an ensemble of young artists whose ages include late elementary through high school.

“We are currently working on music ranging from Bach and Mozart to ‘Turkey in the Straw,’ and look forward to sharing our ‘artwork’ with everyone later this year!”

For more information, call 704-637-4314 or visit

Note: This is the third in a series of short stories submitted by the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra to spotlight its teachers.

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